On July 6, 2012 The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Matt Toarmina to a one year, two-way contact. Who is this guy? In the past couple of years, he hasn’t done much in the way of numbers. However, his history is very impressive, and he sounds determined. Let’s have a look at Matt.
Toarmina was signed as an undrafted free agent on February 25, 2010 by the New Jersey Devils. He began his amateur hockey career in the NAHL with the Texarkana Bandits. He won the NAHL’s Rookie Of The Year and placed in the Second All-Star Team. He then played on the college level for Providence College, where he played 141 games with out missing any. He scored 20 goals and 65 points in that time. In 2007-2008 as a junior he made the Hockey East Second All-Star Team, and he made honorable mention in 2008-2009. After completing his senior year, he joined the AHL’s Binghamton Senators at the end of the season, beginning his professional hockey career.
The New Jersey Devils signed Taormina as an undrafted free agent in February of 2010. Playing for their AHL affiliate the Lowell Devils, he scored 18 goals and 71 points. He had 16 goals and 66 points in 2009-2010 alone. He lead Lowell defensemen, lead the team in assists, and was third on the team with 10 goals and 50 points that season. He set a franchise record with 32 power play goals with 8 goals and 24 assists, and his totals were the most by a rookie in franchise history.
He worked his way to making great impressions in Devils’ training camp, and opened the 2010-2011 with New Jersey. He scored his first NHL goal against the Colorado Avalanche on October 15, 2010. It was a power play goal. He has played 47 NHL career games with New Jersey over the past two seasons. In that he has scored 4 goals and 12 points. He has a plus/minus rating of -4.
Matt Taormina is an American, from Warren, Michigan. He is 5’9″ and weighs 190 pounds. He already has a link to Tampa, as he’s played under the Calder Cup winning Syracuse Crunch head coach John Cooper in 2004-2005, when he coached Texarkana. He hoping to make an impression with the Lightning and have a chance at being kept at the NHL level, but understands if he is sent down to Syracuse. ”I would expect I’d have to have a good camp, turn some heads in that organization. I know I have to prove myself again,” he said, ”I just have to work hard and play the right role. I’m just trying to bring some offense to the table. I feel like right now I can play at the NHL level.”
Though his past two years, his first two in the NHL, may be sketchy as far as the numbers, this 25 year old defenseman impresses ne. His numbers with AHL are great. He seems to have determination and a good attitude. I think that he will be one of those cases that Tampa is familiar with, where a player signs and gets a fresh start. Sometimes that’s all you need. Welcome to Tampa Bay, Matt Taormina.
It’s just another day in hockey paradise,
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